How to Pick the Best Trucker Classes near Moundville Alabama
Congratulations on your decision to become a trucker and enroll in a CDL school near Moundville AL. Maybe it has always been your dream to hit the open highway while driving a monster tractor trailer. Or perhaps you have conducted some research and have found that a career as a truck driver offers excellent pay and flexible work prospects. No matter what your reason is, it’s essential to receive the appropriate training by enrolling in the right CDL school in your area. When assessing your options, there are a number of variables that you’ll want to think about before making your ultimate selection. Location will certainly be an issue, especially if you need to commute from your Moundville residence. The expense will also be important, but picking a school based exclusively on price is not the best means to make sure you’ll obtain the proper training. Just remember, your objective is to learn the knowledge and skills that will allow you to pass the CDL exams and become a professional truck driver. So keeping that purpose in mind, just how do you select a truck driving school? The answer to that question is what we are going to discuss in the rest of this article. But first, we are going to review a little bit about which CDL license you will ultimately need.
Which CDL Will You Require?
In order to drive commercial vehicles legally within the USA and Moundville AL, an operator needs to obtain a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). The 3 classes of licenses that one can qualify for are Class A, Class B and Class C. Given that the subject of this article is how to select a truck driving school, we will address Class A and Class B licenses. What distinguishes each class of CDL is the type of vehicle that the driver can operate in addition to the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) or GCWR (Gross Combination Weight Rating). Below are short summaries for the 2 classes.
Class A CDL. A Class A Commercial Drivers License is required to drive any vehicle that has a GCWR of greater than 26,000 lbs., including a towed vehicle of more than 10,000 lbs. Some of the vehicles that drivers may be able to operate with Class A licenses are:
- Interstate or Intrastate Tractor Trailers
- Trucks with Double or Triple Trailers
- Tanker Trucks
- Livestock Carriers
- Class B and Class C Vehicles
Class B CDL. A Class B Commercial Drivers License is required to operate single vehicles having a GVWR of more than 26,000 lbs., or a GCWR of more than 26,000 lbs. including a towed vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs. Some of the vehicles that operators may be qualified to drive with Class B licenses are:
- Tractor Trailers
- Dump Trucks
- Cement Mixers
- Large Buses
- Class C Vehicles
Both Class A and Class B Commercial Drivers Licenses might also require endorsements to drive specific types of vehicles, for instance school or passenger buses. And a Class A license holder, with the appropriate required endorsements, may operate any vehicle that a Class B licensee is qualified to operate.
How to Assess a Truck Driving School
As soon as you have determined which Commercial Drivers License you want to obtain, you can start the undertaking of researching the Moundville AL truck driving schools that you are considering. As already discussed, location and cost will undoubtedly be your initial concerns. But it can’t be stressed enough that they should not be your only considerations. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools or the experience of the instructors are similarly if not more important. So following are some more points that you should research while carrying out your due diligence before choosing, and particularly paying for, your truck driver training.
Are the Schools Certified or Accredited ? Not many truck driving schools in the Moundville AL area are accredited due to the rigorous process and cost to the schools. However, certification is more prevalent and is provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). A school is not required to become certified, but there are certain advantages. Potential students know that the training will be of the highest quality, and that they will be given an ample amount of driving time. As an example, PTDI calls for 44 hours of real driving time, not simulations or ride-alongs. So if a school’s program is certified (the program, not the school is certified), students know that the training and curriculum will meet the very high benchmarks set by PTDI.
How Long in Operation? One indicator to help evaluate the quality of a trucking school is how long it has been in operation. A poorly ranked or a fly by night school typically will not be in business very long, so longevity is a plus. However, even the top Moundville AL schools had to start from their opening day of training, so use it as one of multiple qualifications. You can also learn what the school’s history is relating to successful licensing and job placement of its graduates. If a school won’t share those stats, look elsewhere. The schools should additionally have associations with regional and national trucking companies. Having numerous contacts not only affirms an excellent reputation within the profession, but also bolsters their job placement program for graduates. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to get in touch with the Alabama licensing department to confirm that the CDL trucking schools you are considering are in compliance.
How Good is the Training? As a minimum requirement, the schools must be licensed in Alabama and hire teachers that are experienced and trained. We will cover more about the teachers in the following section. In addition, the student to instructor proportion should be no greater than 4 to 1. If it’s any higher, then students will not be obtaining the personalized instruction they will need. This is especially true concerning the one-on-one instruction for behind the wheel training. And be critical of any school that professes it can train you to drive trucks in a relatively short period of time. Training to be an operator and to drive a tractor trailer skillfully requires time. The majority of Moundville AL schools offer training programs that range from 3 weeks to as long as two months, depending on the class of license or type of vehicle.
How Good are the Teachers? As earlier stated, it’s essential that the instructors are trained to teach driving methods and experienced as both drivers and instructors. Even though a number of states have minimum driving time prerequisites to be certified as an instructor, the more successful driving experience an instructor has the better. It’s also vital that the instructors keep up to date with industry advancements or any new laws or changes in regulations. Evaluating teachers may be a little more subjective than other standards, and possibly the ideal approach is to pay a visit to the school and speak with the instructors face to face. You can also talk to a few of the students going through the training and ask if they are satisfied with the quality of instruction and the teacher’s ability to train them.
Plenty of Driving Time? Most importantly, a good truck driving school will provide sufficient driving time to its students. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? Driving time is the actual time spent behind the wheel operating a truck. While the use of ride-a-longs with other students and simulators are important training methods, they are no replacement for actual driving. The more training that a student gets behind the wheel, the better driver he or she will be. And even though driving time can vary among schools, a good standard is a minimum of 32 hours. If the school is PTDI certified, it will furnish no less than 44 hours of driving time. Check with the Moundville AL schools you are looking at and ask how much driving time they furnish.
Are they Captive or Independent ? You can receive discounted or even free training from a number of trucking schools if you enter into an agreement to be a driver for a particular carrier for a defined period of time. This is what’s known as contract training, and the schools that provide it are called captives. So rather than maintaining relationships with a wide range of trucking lines that they can refer their students to, captives only work with one company. The tradeoff is receiving free or less expensive training by surrendering the freedom to initially be a driver wherever you choose. Obviously contract training has the potential to limit your income prospects when starting out. But for some it may be the best way to receive affordable training. Just be sure to inquire if the Moundville AL schools you are considering are independent or captive so that you can make an informed decision.
Is there Onsite CDL Testing? There are several states that will allow 3rd party CDL testing onsite of truck driver schools for its grads. If onsite testing is permitted in Alabama, find out if the schools you are looking at are DMV certified to offer it. One advantage is that it is more accommodating than competing with graduates of competing schools for test times at Alabama testing facilities. It is also an indication that the DMV considers the approved schools to be of a superior quality.
Are the Class Times Convenient? As earlier noted, CDL training is just one to two months in length. With such a brief term, it’s imperative that the Moundville AL school you choose provides flexibility for both the scheduling of classes and the curriculum. For example, if you’re having a hard time learning a certain driving maneuver, then the instructor should be willing to dedicate more time with you until you are proficient. And if you’re still holding a job while going to training, then the class scheduling must be flexible enough to accommodate working hours or other commitments.
Is Job Placement Offered? The moment you have attained your commercial driver’s license after graduating from truck driver school, you will be anxious to start your new career. Verify that the schools you are contemplating have job assistance programs. Find out what their job placement percentage is and what average salary their grads start at. Also, find out which national and local trucking companies their graduates are referred to for hiring. If a school has a low job placement rate or few Moundville AL employers recruiting their graduates, it might be a clue to look elsewhere.
Is Financial Aid Available? Truck driver schools are much like colleges and other Moundville AL area technical or vocational schools when it comes to loans and other forms of financial aid being available. Ask if the schools you are evaluating have a financial aid department, or at least someone who can help you navigate the options and forms that need to be completed.
Good Truck Driving Schools Moundville Alabama
Selecting the ideal truck driving school is an essential first step to launching your new vocation as a local or long distance truck driver. The skill sets taught at school will be those that shape a new career behind the wheel. There are a number of options available and understanding them is vital if you are going to succeed as an operator. You originally came to our website because of your interest in Good Truck Driving Schools and wanting information on the topic Truck Driving Schools Cost. However, you must get the necessary training in order to drive a large commercial vehicle in a safe and professional fashion. If you are short on funds or financing, you may want to look into a captive school. You will pay a reduced or even no tuition by agreeing to drive for their contracted carrier. Or you can choose an independent trucker school and have the the freedom to drive for the trucking company of your choice, or one of many affiliated with the school. It’s your choice. But no matter how you get your training, you will soon be part of an industry that helps our country move as a professional trucker in Moundville AL.
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Moundville is a town in Hale and Tuscaloosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was incorporated on December 22, 1908. From its incorporation until the 1970 census, it was wholly within Hale County. At the 2010 census the population was 2,427, up from 1,809 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Tuscaloosa Metropolitan Statistical Area. Within the town is Moundville Archaeological Site, the location of a prehistoric Mississippian culture political and ceremonial center.
Moundville is located in northern Hale County at 32°59′55″N 87°37′34″W / 32.99861°N 87.62611°W / 32.99861; -87.62611 (32.998521, -87.626006), on the south side of the Black Warrior River. The town limits extend north into Tuscaloosa County. Alabama State Route 69 passes through the east side of the town, leading north 16 miles (26 km) to Tuscaloosa and south 22 miles (35 km) to Greensboro, the Hale County seat.
At the 2000 census, there were 1,809 people, 809 total housing units with 688 being occupied households, and 479 families residing in the town. The population density was 458.7 per square mile (177.3/km²). There were 780 housing units at an average density of 197.8 per square mile (76.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 61.30% White, 35.16% Black or African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.94% Asian, 0.83% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. 1.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.